The landscape for publishing books has changed significantly over the years. As we are moving closer to using AI in all of our business, They need to understand how I data-driven algorithm is really at the heart are being able to do good business. For this reason, We have decided to test a tool called CEREBRO—a single software used within Helium 10—To reverse engineer competitors' books. This review will walk you through it step-by-step process for using Cerebro.
Table of Contents
What is Helium 10s Cerebro?
Cerebro is Helium 10's reverse ASIN search tool. This powerful tool identifies the most effective keywords to build into your product listing and PPC (pay-per-click) ads. Cerebro is a sophisticated tool with a vast pool of filters that allows you to cast a wide net and then narrow the keyword catch down to only the most relevant and effective words ranked by Amazon for a specific product (in this case, other author’s books). This part covers the basic dashboard and most relevant search options for researching and unveiling the keywords your book competitors use to rank high on Amazon.
Yes, that is correct. By implementing this tool, you can pull the exact data competitor publishers are ranking for and use this data in your book description, KDP keywords, and, best of all, AMS (Amazon advertising) platform.
So in this Helium 10—Cerebro review, we’re going to take a deep dive into how we use this tool to:
- Reverse engineer competitor’s data
- Filter out the low performing keywords
- Understand the data as presented by Cerebro
- Rank on product pages for best keywords
- Eliminate the junk data and retrieve the gold.
Getting Started with Cerebro
First, let’s begin by going to Helium 10 platform and logging in. Note that if you do not have the paid version of Cerebro ($39/month), you can still search up to three ASINs daily. However, you are very limited in the amount of keyword data you can download.
If you want to dive right in and get Cerebro for 30 days, you can pay for just one tool with the A La Carte option. We recommend trying this out for 30 days. The tool pays for itself even if you increase your book sales by $40 a month!
To learn more ways to use Cerebro, click on the LEARN button or go to Helium 10's website to view the PRO Training videos. Helium 10 also has hundreds of informational videos on its YouTube channel. You don’t have to pay to get trained in using Cerebro, because they offer all the training on their platform.
Now that you have access to all the features of Cerebro (if you signed up), in the rest of this article, we will walk through how to reverse engineer your competitor’s books and “steal” the keywords they are using to rank in the Amazon store. By the time you are finished, you should have a solid list of highly refined keywords for Amazon advertising testing.
Now log into Cerebro and open up the tool. It should look like this:
How to Use Cerebro to Find the Best Keywords for Your Book Listings
To begin, you need to jump into Amazon and locate the book and corresponding ASIN number to plug into Cerebro. To use Cerebro, you must have one or more product ASINs to use as the basis of your search. Go to Amazon.com to search for a book. If you’re not certain the book you want to reverse engineer, begin with a general search under the category you are trying to rank in (Self Help, Cooking and Nutrition, Business)
Here is an example under Self Help Books:
You can copy the books' ASIN from the product page. Also, if you open up to the book’s main page, Cerebro has all the data listed for the book’s sales and performance history.
That is very cool! You can now take the ASIN and plug it directly into the Cerebro toolbar here and click on “Get Keywords”:
But wait…there is another way to quickly access and load up the keywords directly from Amazon…
You can open Cerebro in more than one way. First, you can simply click on the Keywords link located in the Helium 10 Chrome Extension bar graph box under the product image. To have this box activated, of course, you need to be using the Helium 10 Chrome browser. Clicking on “Keywords” initiates the browser to go to Helium10.com and to open Cerebro.
You can click on the “Keywords” directory, and it takes you directly to Cerebro, where it will automatically load the keywords for the book.
Or, you can open a new browser window, log into your Helium 10 account, and click on and activate Cerebro. This method is probably more typical if you are planning to enter more than one ASIN in your search.
Paste the ASIN number you copied from Amazon's product page into the search field. You can search up to ten book/product ASINs in one search. Simply paste them in one at a time. The more ASINs you plug in, the higher the number of keywords in the results. Sometimes you may want to search broadly across several books, and other times you'll want to narrow down to just one or two competing books.
For example, here, I want to reverse-engineer three separate books on self-discipline. As the books are generally in the same field (self-help, discipline), it’s an educated guess they use most of the same data.
Go to Amazon and find the ASINs for the books you want to use, or using the Amazon search bar, plug in the kind of books. In this case, I plugged in Self Discipline books and found many competing books. Remember, you can plug in up to 10 ASINs in the Cerebro search bar.
Grab the ASINs from the product details and plug them into the Cerebro bar.
Important Note: Choose the correct marketplace from the URL drop menu. ASIN and search results will vary by country. In this example, I chose the US marketplace, but you can also choose from six more country marketplaces.
Next, click on Get Keywords and…
We now have 4575 keywords combined from these three books. Each book may have about 5000 keywords, but combining them provides an overall amount.
Cerebro's basic search brings up a lot of initial data and a list of all identified keywords. The first box shows the main image of the book/product searched, along with its title and ASIN. They appear as a slide show if you've searched for more than one ASIN. Just click on the forward or backward buttons to cycle through them.
The box titled Frequently Bought Together (Bottom right from the listing), displays the products often bought simultaneously with the searched product. Cerebro opens a new Amazon window when you click on the box with all the items customers have bought and your searched product. This data benefits you when you are choosing products with which to associate your PPC ad campaigns potentially.
The next box, titled Keyword Distribution, shows the distribution of the ASIN(s)'s indexed keywords in total, breaking out which ones are Sponsored, Amazon Recommended and/or Organic. Sponsored keywords are the keywords this ASIN uses to run Amazon advertising. Amazon Recommended keywords are the words Amazon recommends for this book for advertising purposes. And Organic keywords are the words Amazon customers have typed in and used to locate this product/book.
The fourth box, Word Frequency, collects all the words that appear in the keyword search. The parenthesis after each word notes how many times each word appears alone or as part of a phrase according to Amazon. This lets you see the most frequently used keywords with this ASIN.
By clicking on the Export Data button, you can now download these keywords into an excel sheet for your own Amazon advertising.
Get Competitor’s Feature
Clicking on the Get Competitors button (Located top right of screen) pulls up a screen with the 20 top competing products that share many of the same keywords. If you click on a specific product's ASIN in the new screen, Cerebro adds it to your ASIN list, and opens a new window taking you to the Amazon product page for that ASIN.
Let's close the main competitors' window and return to the search results page. Now you'll want to scan down to see which words and phrases Cerebro has identified for these ASINs. There's generally a lot of data. The default list is essentially the order in which the results load from Cerebro's search.
We will take a look at the critical data you should pay attention to for targeting better results for your books.
The three most important lines of data are:
- Cerebro IQ Score
- Search Volume
- Competing Products
Cerebro IQ Score: Click on the heading “Cerebro IQ Score.” This score rates products by comparing the number and popularity of products available to the number of organic searches using those specific keyword(s). The higher the number, the more likely the product will rank well. In this case, the product is the book you are looking for.
Search Volume Heading: Next, click on the Search Volume column heading to see which search terms customers are typing in most often for this type of product. This is important because you want to target data that has a search volume at least 500. You can use the filters to adjust the range for filtering out data that is less than 500, or more than 5000. Just as keywords with a low search volume do not perform well, keywords ranking high in search volume could end up costing your campaigns money to target. So, we recommended setting it at 5000-10,000, but this number is arbitrary.
Competing Products: Next, If you want to see how many competing products are indexed by Amazon for the keyword(s) listed, sort the results by the Competing Products column heading. Similar to the search volume, you want there to be competing products, but not too many. We can filter this as seen below.
There are several other columns to analyze the data depending on how refined you want to get with your search. Let’s take a look at these before setting up filters.
The Match Type column shows the various ways in which the keywords are ranking the ASIN product you're researching. A O means that the product is organically ranking in the first 306 positions when a customer types that word or phrase into Amazon's search field. An A means that the product is ranking as a recommended keyword by Amazon. And S means that the product is ranking somewhere in the top 96 sponsored positions when this keyword(s) is searched.
The Amazon Recommended Rank column shows whether or not a keyword(s) is ranked for Amazon Recommended and how high it is ranked.
The Sponsored Rank column shows where the product appears on a search results page when it's running a paid ad using the specified keyword(s).
The Cerebro multi-ASIN search (see below) also provides data on the competing ASIN's product. Some of it appears on the dashboard, and some of it will only show if you download the data into a spreadsheet.
Before you download the data, let’s take a look at the filters tabs where we can narrow down your top keywords or opportunity keywords. You will notice the settings for Search Volume and Competing Products.
Cerebro allows you to set a range for keyword Search Volume. For example, maybe you only want to see common customer searches, or maybe, instead, you want to locate the rare search term. This filter allows you to narrow the range to your exact needs. As mentioned above, a good range for book keyword search volume is 500 in the last 30 days.
Helium 10's Cerebro IQ Score can help you find keywords that have a high search volume but a low number of competing products. In this example we set the range to 500, but this number is something you can test.
Organic rank: Knowing which keyword(s) customers are actually searching, that Amazon is then ranking a product for, is very important. If you want to compete against a product, you'll need to know the ranking keywords before you create a listing or run an ad campaign. Helium 10 lets you control the range of Organic keyword searches in your analysis.
Match Type Filter: The Match Type filter lets you limit the type of results to include or exclude Organic, Sponsored, or Amazon Recommended.
Important: Competing Products! To see the keywords for a specific range of competing products, set the minimum and maximum numbers relative to the desired results.
Target/Eliminate Specific Words: Finally, as you filter down your keywords list, you can directly target or eliminate specific words.
Export Your Data: Once you have narrowed your list to your satisfaction, you can do several things with it. Click on the Export Button in the top right corner to either 1) export to your computer as a CSV or Excel file; 2) copy the list to paste it to your Clipboard, or 3) transfer the words to Helium 10's Frankenstein Tool.
Here is the refined list in an excel spreadsheet. Ready for plugging into your Amazon ads for books!
Helium 10 Pricing
The pricing for Helium 10 is as follows. If you only want to use Helium 10 for a short period of time, We recommend getting the a La Carte at $39/month. You can then cancel anytime but later, If you decide to continue with Helium 10, You can reboot the subscription. For books specifically, Cerebro is the recommended tool. The rest of the software depends on the products you're selling And where you're selling them.
Helium 10 Pros and Cons
- All-in-one platform (save money and 0 switching between ecosystems)
- The best product validation, reverse ASIN, and listings optimization tools in the business that includes Cerebro
- Free and Starter plan for new entrepreneurs
- Proprietary tools not found elsewhere (Frankenstein, Cerebro, Magneto, Scribbles)
- Built-in SEO and marketing tools
- Easy landing page builder
- Hands-on Amazon training
- Responsive support
- Free built in learning and training
- Slightly expensive for full access
- Steep learning curve for utilizing data
Cerebro Review: Final Thoughts
After using this tool for over one year, I highly recommend it. In fact, it’s tough for me to recommend anything else. You have all the tools and access to the fastest technology for reverse engineering your competitors’ data.
CEREBRO is for the serious author who wants to get their books placed at the top of the charts. Although the tool is somewhat expensive, if used correctly, it will pay for itself many times over.